Buyer Beware! Are you sure it’s not an illicit streaming device?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the peak shopping days ahead of the festive holidays. Bargains galore for consumers. A bonanza for online retailers as well as pirates! With the increased professionalism of pirates, some consumers may not realize they’ve bought an illicit streaming device (ISD).

Legal but modified
Over the years we’ve seen that the most popular devices exploited by pirates are

The A-E of eSports

For some, the steady growth of eSports is no surprise. For others, they’re just starting to hear about it. With phrases like: “is eSports the future?”; “eSports industry is booming”, it’s worth looking at why there’s so much hype surrounding it.
Put simply, eSports is competitive or professional gaming. Players battle it out to go up the rankings and win prize money. And that’s big business?

A game changing watermark for live sports

Watermarking is an essential part of any anti-piracy program. More now than ever, as pirates have started to remove the broadcaster’s logo from the stream. But with a unique robust watermark, you’re able to identify the source of leaked content, even when the logo is obfuscated. What’s more, there’s a different flavor of watermarking depending on your needs. And now there’s a new revolutionary watermark available.

The fight isn’t over…

As we have seen countless times in the past, consumer demand for live sports is at an all-time high. This content makes it both a key differentiator for pay TV operators and a cornerstone for pirates. These illegal service providers offer thousands of sites providing illegal live sports content attracting millions of viewers. In addition, the eagerness of consumers to watch live sports content means that they not only require, but expect an optimal viewing experience.

Everyone loves public WiFi – particularly hackers!

Why should hackers rely on finding a zero-day or unpatched vulnerability? The most common way they break into accounts or networks is by stealing credentials. What’s more they’re easy to obtain.

How are credentials stolen?
Given our addiction to being ‘always connected’, it’s no surprise that WiFi based attacks are a fertile source of stolen credentials.

Is blockchain an accelerator of piracy?

There’s certainly hype around blockchain. Some believe that the distributed ledger and trustless consensus rules are revolutionary; with the potential to radically change existing business models. Yet, there’s also an association to a darker side. Will this innovative technology result in a proliferation of piracy?

One example of how business models could change is solutions like Livepeer.

A successful pirate raid combines investigative skills and teamwork

Pirates know what sells in their market. While content redistribution over the internet is a major global problem, we shouldn’t overlook control word sharing. In Africa, this is still a highly profitable business for pirates. Well, until they’re raided and sentenced that is!

Setting the scene
As part of a long running investigation working with Multichoice Africa Limited (MAL), a cybercrime syndicate was identified in Egypt.

Is the tide turning against online pirates?

Pirates move at internet speed. Unhindered by rules and regulations they continually adapt; leaving the content owners, media industry and legal institutions to play catchup. My earlier blog highlighted 3 initiatives in the fight against piracy , and in the last month or so there are more examples of how the tide might be starting to turn against the pirates.

European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling
Recently, the ECJ ruled on a long running case between BREIN (the Dutch anti-piracy group) and Filmspeler.nl, that selling streaming devices preloaded with pirate streaming links and add-ons is illegal.

Can site blocking help fight online piracy?

With the proliferation of different ways to access pirated content, does site blocking have any impact? That was a question I received during a recent piracy panel discussion. Let’s have a look to see if it does.

What is it?

Put simply, site blocking is a technical means by which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can disable consumer access to target sites. This can be by using DNS based -, Url- or IP blocking capabilities.